Reading List for August 18, 2017

How Hitler’s Volkswagen Conquered America On Mental Floss, Jake Rossen writes about the shady origins and breakthrough ad campaign that made the VW Beetle one of America’s most beloved subcompacts.

The Real Story Behind Area 51 Matt Blitz provides a little background and a handy tourist guide for viewing the fabled secret US military base at Groom Lake, Nevada.

Orphan Utopia On Cabinet, Reed McConnell writes about a religious sect from the 19th century known as the Faithists, which adopted orphaned children of all races and backgrounds and raised them in the desert of New Mexico.

How Friday the 13th Accidentally Perfected the Slasher Movie Scott Meslow writes about a cynical attempt to make a buck that turned out to become one of the pillars of the horror movie genre.

On Early Warning Signs In a 2010 article in Seed magazine, George Sugihara writes about the complexity of interconnected systems like financial markets or ocean ecosystems and how a model called complexity theory looks for universal warning signs of impending collapse.

The Cat Went Over Radioactive Mountain In Method, Sarah Zhang writes about how the problem of long-term radioactive waste storage has more than once raised conferences on communicating with humans in the far future.

Return of the Bogus Social Workers In an old post on Fortean Times, Emma McNeill writes about reports of people posing as social workers, gaining entry to homes and examining children, all of which may have only ever been an urban legend out of Great Britain.

How to Get to a World Without Suicide On Mosaic, Simon Usborne examines the Zero Suicide movement, a concept that emerged from a Detroit hospital that aims to revise the standard view of suicide that it is a normal part of the fabric of living.

The Unbearable Fear of Psi: On Scientific Censorship in the 21st Century [PDF] In an article in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Etzel CardeƱa writes about attempts by the established scientific community to prevent publication of scientific studies that challenge its dogma, an issue that is largely overlooked by the public but widely pervasive throughout science.

Drastic Measures: The Metric Assault on American Standards In a 2001 article on the Foundation for Economic Education, Peter Seymour senses a Communist plot beneath the metrication movement, but manages to make a pretty good case for keeping the current standards of measure.

When Life Is a Fate Worse Than Death Dr. Haider Javed Warraich writes about the evolution of the right-to-death movement in the United States, which grew out of some complicated medical cases where severely brain-damaged patients lingered between life and death via technology.

American Petro-topia Rebecca Altman writes about the lasting legacy of plastics – in her own family, in American culture and also in the human body.

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